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Andrew Fink, Republican Rep. for Michigan's 58th House District. Courtesy | Facebook
Andrew Fink, Repub­lican Rep. for Michi­gan’s 58th House Dis­trict. Courtesy | Facebook

Michigan will forbid the teaching of “racial stereo­types,” if a bill co-spon­sored by Repub­lican state Rep. Andrew Fink ’06 becomes law.

The state’s House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives passed the bill on Nov. 2. Known as House Bill 5097, it estab­lishes “core aca­demic cur­riculum content” which includes banning “race or gender stereo­typing,” but does not explicitly mention critical race theory.

The bill estab­lishes that aca­demic stan­dards must relate only to aca­demic or cog­nitive instruction.

According to the bill, “implicit race or gender stereo­typing” includes teaching that racism is inherent in par­ticular races, and that indi­viduals bear guilt for his­torical wrongs committed. 

Democrats in the Michigan State House refused to cast their votes, allowing the bill to pass by a vote of 55 – 0. 

Democrat state Rep. Karen Whitsett said on Twitter that Michigan Repub­licans denied her black col­league Rep. Cynthia A. Johnson per­mission to speak on the bill. 

Dems held their vote until she could speak, but the Repub­licans chose to close the board,” Whitsett said in a Twitter post. “The message sent? Our voices don’t matter unless we say what they allow us to say. That’s com­pletely unacceptable.”

Fink com­mented on the trajectory of the bill and whether it will pass Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk. 

“I hes­itate to spec­ulate on what the gov­ernor will do,” Fink said, “but she has vetoed a lot of common sense leg­is­lation so far, and it wouldn’t sur­prise me if she did the same here.” 

Fink said the bill’s intent is to protect students.

“No student should be made to feel that he or she is des­tined to be less suc­cessful or is less valuable because of the color of their skin,” Fink said. 

“Our leg­is­lation would ensure that no public schools in our state will push such a poi­sonous notion.”

According to Fink, the bill follows a national push by parents.

“We are seeing a nationwide pushback against these beliefs because parents under­stand that they poison a child’s mind. They assign stereo­types to people based on the color of their skin or the bodies they were born into,” Fink said. “Parents all over the country rec­ognize this evil for what it is, and this bill is our attempt to combat it here in Michigan.”